Sunday, December 19, 2010

Great News: The Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council

Did you know:

- Less than 1% of the food that is consumed in the metro region is produced within Colorado
- Therefore, we are not currently capturing the $5.7 billion (annually) that robust local food production could add to our economy
- We are raising the first generation of children with a shorter life expectancy than their parents (due to obesity)

For these reasons (and so many more) we are thrilled about the formation of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council. The role of the Council is still being determined by its members, but its general purposes are to:

   1. Increase food production in the City & County of Denver
   2. Enhance the food security of all Denver residents
   3. Improve access to locally produced food
   4. Improve the economic viability of urban agriculture
   5. Recognize and enhance the role of the food and agriculture system in conserving and regenerating Denver's natural resources and environment
   6. Improve health for all of Denver's residents
   7. Build awareness about the community impacts of local, healthy food access and encourage participation in Denver's local food system

The Council members were appointed by Mayor Hickenlooper, and include community leaders in urban farming, Denver Public Schools, restaurants, Denver Housing Authority, medicine/public health, food justice, land conservancy, food retail, and much more. 

We have had two meetings so far, and it is truly incredible to share a room with so many wonderfully smart, committed people. I am honored by the opportunity to participate in the council representing Heirloom Gardens and Sustainable Food Denver, and am excited by the possibilities of what we can accomplish. 

What do you think? What kind of programs, projects, and/or policy changes would you like to see happen in Denver to facilitate sustainable food systems?


Monique Elwell said...

I would love to see focus on more distribution channels using local food. Focus on grass fed/grass finished meat and education around what is seasonal. I suspect you'll also have to provide some cooking lessons! I think this is fantastic! Good luck!

Sundari Elizabeth said...

That's a great suggestion, Monique. I agree that food distribution is a key part of the equation, as is education (including cooking classes, of course). We're excited to tackle these issues!